At the beginning of 2018, the PSR set up a dedicated steering group, made up of consumer representatives and the industry, to design and implement a code that would work for everyone.
The development and subsequent implementation of the code follows significant work by the steering group, completed within the ambitious timeframe driven by the PSR. This work has looked to understand the scale and technicalities of the problem, along with setting out how to prevent these types of scam from happening in the future and reimburse victims if they do nothing wrong.
The regulator is pleased that the code reflects its continued strong belief that if somebody has done everything they can reasonably do to protect themselves, they should be reimbursed. Even if blame can’t be attributed to either the consumer or the banks, consumers will be reimbursed. In a further, positive move, the banks have agreed to fund an initial contribution to reimburse victims in the no-blame scenario as an interim measure until the final long-term funding arrangements are put in place from January 2020. The PSR looks forward to working with industry as this mechanism is developed.
The PSR will continue to keep under close review the progress in this area and whether any further steps would help bring about the benefits that the code and the longer-term funding mechanism are intended to achieve.
The final code will be implemented on 28 May, at which point the protections and standards will be implemented by banks and other payment service providers.
The PSR still wants to see Confirmation of Payee brought in as soon as possible and also make sure that when it is introduced, it is an effective way to stop this crime taking place.
The regulator is working through the responses to its consultation on the implementation of Confirmation of Payee and so no decisions on timing have been made. However, given the feedback provided by industry, and the technical complexities to be addressed, the regulator recognises that an implementation date of 1 April 2019 will not be achievable. Further work will therefore be carried out to ensure this important tool is delivered as soon as possible.